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The 2008 Primaries: A Long, Hard Slog?

For a while, it looked as if the 2008 presidential primary season would be over in the blink of an eye, with a few big names raising and spending unprecedented sums and the outcome for both parties determined by early February.

2008 Presidential Candidates
Candidate profiles, schedules, finances, etc.

This scenario gained traction after more than two dozen states moved up their caucuses and primaries to the first six weeks of 2008 in a bid to enhance their influence over the presidential contest and undercut the traditional role of Iowa and New Hampshire as kingmakers. But with none of the candidates able to break from the pack on the Republican side, and a relatively poor debate performance by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last week giving her two chief Democratic rivals a possible opening, talk of an extended primary fight has become more than just a political junkie's pipe dream.

With so many early primary elections crammed into the schedule, some analysts and neutral observers now believe that several candidates from each party will be able to claim enough states to keep them viable well beyond the so-called Tsunami Tuesday on Feb. 5.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who himself weighed a late entrance into the presidential race, believes a protracted primary campaign is a distinct possibility on the Republican side.

"The odds are one in three that there will be a frontrunner but no nominee after Feb. 5," Gingrich said in a recent interview. "Anyone who is still standing...will have a real incentive to keep in the race until the convention because it gets so much less expensive."

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll showed why Gingrich just might be right. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani led the field with 33 percent -- the first time in three decades that the Republican frontrunner is not polling over 40 percent in surveys conducted this deep into an election campaign. Even among those who support Giuliani, just 45 percent said they do so "strongly" while 55 percent said they back him "somewhat" -- a tepid level of support that suggests real fluidity in the contest.

Special Report | Fast Track Campaign
Special Report: The Fast Track Campaign

Not so for Democrats, where voters profess themselves generally pleased with their options and Clinton holds a 49 percent to 26 percent lead over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). Among those who back Clinton, 57 percent do so "strongly" as compared to 43 percent who "somewhat" support her. Still, it is too soon to assess the impact of efforts by Obama and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) to portray Clinton as less than forthcoming in addressing important issues including the war in Iraq, Iran and immigration.

The challenge for the candidates lagging behind the frontrunners is to somehow survive the early primaries -- many of them in states where it is very expensive to advertise on television -- and then hope to catch on in other states where campaign costs are much less.

While several of the largest and most expensive states -- California, Illinois, New York -- are set to vote on Feb. 5, the states that follow boast cheaper media markets. Maryland and Virginia host primaries on Feb. 12; Wisconsin and Washington go on Feb. 19. It's not until March 4 that another series of large states vote, with Ohio and Texas scheduled to cast ballots that day.

There are two lines of thinking about the effects of a protracted primary fight. Some argue that the longer the process goes, the more likely it is to reward the financial frontrunners -- Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov.Mitt Romney for Republicans, Clinton and Obama for Democrats. Those four candidates will almost certainly have the organizational and financial wherewithal to keep their campaigns up and running after Tsunami Tuesday.

"Never in primary history have you had two candidates in the same party with the resources of Clinton and Obama," said Carter Eskew, a senior Democratic strategist not currently affiliated with a presidential campaign. "Both have the chance to plan beyond Feb. 5th."

Others argue that money and organization will be far less important should the nomination fight extend beyond Feb.5, as all of the remaining campaigns will be scrambling to find a string of state victories to carry them to the nomination. Matthew Dowd, a senior strategist in both of President Bush's national campaigns, is a believer in the latter theory.

In conversations with several unaligned strategists in both parties, there was near unanimous agreement that it is almost impossible for any campaign to prepare for a nomination fight that extends beyond Feb. 5.

"The best way to prepare for a longer battle is to build a truly national campaign with hundreds of thousands of supporters," said Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg. "Their money and passion can help carry a candidate further than ever before."

Here's a look at several -- but by no means every -- scenario whereby the nomination fights could carry beyond Feb. 5:

Democrats -- Scenario No. 1

If Edwards manages to win Iowa -- his lone chance of remaining relevant for everything that comes afterward -- it follows that Clinton's organizational strength in New Hampshire will deliver the state to her. Assuming Obama is a close second in either or both of those states, it's possible that the substantial black vote in South Carolina coalesces behind him and propels him to a victory there. Such a scenario would keep all of the Big 3 relevant through Feb. 5 and perhaps beyond.

Clinton would seem to have impenetrable leads in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and the sheer cost of campaigning in California could well deliver that delegate treasure trove to her on name identification alone. Similarly, Obama would have his homestate of Illinois in the bag, and the large black populations in states like Georgia and Alabama would win him enough delegates to stay alive. Edwards, in this scenario, is the biggest question mark. Can he win in border states like Tennessee? How about Oklahoma, where he might have won in 2004 were it not for retired Gen. Wesley Clark being on the ballot?

Democrats -- Scenario No. 2

This scenario assumes that Edwards loses Iowa, effectively eliminating him from serious contention and creating a two-way race between Obama and Clinton. If Obama and Clinton split the first four states -- Iowa and South Carolina for Obama, New Hampshire and Nevada for Clinton -- it seems extremely likely that each will come out of Feb. 5 with enough victories (and delegates) to make the case that he or she should fight on.

Republicans -- Scenario No. 1

Romney's strength in Iowa means that his opponents -- most notably Giuliani -- will downplay the results there in hopes of robbing the former governor of the traditional bounce the winner of the caucuses receives. This scenario assumes that Giuliani's strategy works, as Romney wins Iowa but Hizzoner takes New Hampshire. It also assumes that Thompson can use his Southern roots and conservative record to win South Carolina -- keeping Giuliani and Romney from building too much momentum going into Feb. 5.

Giuliani has huge strengths on Tsunami Tuesday, including his home base in New York and the huge prize of California. But if Thompson remains viable, he could keep Giuliani from sweeping the South and Romney could pick off a handful of states including Arizona and Missouri (where Gov. Matt Blunt (R) is working for him).

Republicans -- Scenario No. 2

Should Romney win Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan, he could well knock Thompson entirely out of the race with a win in South Carolina. But if Romney can't sell in South Carolina, Thompson can use a win there to remain relevant into Feb. 5 and avoid the race devolving into a two-man contest between Romney and Giuliani. Giuliani would still come out of Feb. 5 with a big delegate lead.

Republicans -- Scenario No. 3

For political junkies, this is the dream scenario: After a brutal summer, McCain is still very much in the game in New Hampshire, with a victory there within the realm of the possible. Assuming Romney wins Iowa, McCain wins New Hampshire and Thompson (or even Giuliani) wins South Carolina, it's hard to imagine that the Feb. 5 primaries would end the race. Rather, they would winnow a four-person contest down to two. Which two? Your guess is as good as ours.

Which scenario do you think is most likely to play out in January and February? The comments section awaits your insight.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 6, 2007; 12:01 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Edwards's Loss, Shaheen's Gain
Next: Understanding Paul's Haul

Comments

DemStore:"I think we should be able to support Hillary without going broke!"

If Hill gets in this will be the last time you will be able to say that :)....

corenas, by that comment you must mean that people are ignorant of history. I must agree with you on that.
This is the last gasp of the old leftover hippies trying to shape their socialistic(sorry .. one of those historic words again)Shan-gr-la ... I am not wanting to scare anyone by my choice of words, I am just factually sizing HRC up for what she is and what she wants to do. Her silence on what should be easy questions to answer speaks volumes .. does anyone really know what she wants to do? Do you really know what she stands for? You do know she is a neo-con, right? Do not let that "D" after her name fool you. Dems can be neo-cons also ... Lets see what is locked up in the library ... Answer a question honestly Hil, because if you do reveal what you stand for, well, the race will be over before it starts.

Posted by: littleperu2412 | November 7, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Just thought I would share this information for anyone who wants to support Hillary. I bought a bunch of stuff from http://www.hillarycampus.com for a rally that we had at my school and I just wanted to recommend it because it's inexpensive, fast and I know people don't have a lot of money to spend on bumper stickers and T shirts. I think we should be able to support Hillary without going broke!

Posted by: DemStore | November 7, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

littleperu2412-

Thank god we are long past the days when simply saying that someone was Marxist, Socialist, Communist, Soviet, ect. was enough to scare people away from voting for a candidate. Senator McCarthy, you are not.

Posted by: corenas | November 7, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

cdavid said:

"I don't know that the Hillary candidacy is inevitable, but don't think that a gaffe this early in the going "has legs." George Bush was caught on camera calling a member of the press corps an a**hole during the summer of 2000. The backlash lasted about, oh, a day."

The difference is that Bush was probably right and HRC is a liar, its part of the Clintonian make-up. Does any one know what the hell her stances are?(xcept for licenses for illegals and maxed out taxes) Wait till she enters the trenches with RG. It will be awesome.

Posted by: littleperu2412 | November 7, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

claudialong statEs:

"We already know that the man is unfit for high office -- his extreme authoriatarian views, uncontrollable appetites, powerlust and and volatile, unstable temperment would mean death to our democracy. I only pray that America wakes up before it's too late." ---
--- MY GOD CLAUDIALONG, TAKE OUT THE WORD MAN AND REPLACE IT WITH WOMAN AND HIS WITH HERS AND YOU WOULD BE DESCRIBING HILLARY!!!

Also, in a previous entry you were speaking of the border and blaming the 'Pubs for the woes. Well truth be known the border problems started to bloom around 1920 or so, way before that bad Bush took office. Ole Willy had 2 terms to deal with many of the problems we face now, but chose to ignore them. Its not a Pub prob. Chill.

Clinton will destroy personal freedoms just as willingly as any other politician by social programming means, taxation, weakening the military and morale fabric of the U.S., such as it is. A vote for her is a vote for Marxism. Thinking voters must see this.


Posted by: littleperu2412 | November 7, 2007 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Answer to AlaninMissoula: I am pretty sure that the last major party convention to need more than one ballot was the Democratic convention that nominated Adlai Stevenson in 1952. Estes Kefauver led initially thanks to the primaries, but Stevenson, with Truman's backing, was nominated on the 3d ballot. That was the first year I listened to the conventions.

Add me to the map junkies; and what a pleasure for someone slightly color-blind to see such an intelligent choice of contrasts! You wouldn't believe how harassing it is to deal with people who think pink contrasts with grey or red with black.

Posted by: iyenori | November 7, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Joe Biden is coming under the radar in Iowa. Iowa likes that type of candidate and I am really looking forward to see how people in Iowa respond to "new" type of candidates like Clinton and Obama.

Posted by: hodzicm1 | November 6, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that the Hillary candidacy is inevitable, but don't think that a gaffe this early in the going "has legs." George Bush was caught on camera calling a member of the press corps an a**hole during the summer of 2000. The backlash lasted about, oh, a day.

Posted by: cdavidj | November 6, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Look for Iowa to be a very tough race on the Dem side. I see Hillary winning it, Obama and Edwards being 2nd and 3rd respectively but very close together. Hillary will win NH, that makes the real race South Carolina. Obama and Edwards will be in a battle to make that state their own. Obama could mobilize the black vote, Edwards could win it on southern charm. Look to South Carolina to be a big boost, if Obama or Edwards win it, they will be the lone contender to hillary on Feb. 5 and beyond.

Posted by: jamesbedell | November 6, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The Sullivan article is excellent, I posted it over the weekend too but I figure some of you less-junky may have missed it ;)

Posted by: roo_P | November 6, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I was disappointed to see that you failed to mention the first binding caucus immediately after Tsunami Tuesday. That's right, the state of NEBRASKA's binding caucus would be the first contest up for grabs and several campaigns have already cast a slight eye their direction. Why Nebraska, you might ask?

First off, Nebraska's a really cheap state to advertise in. Campaigns whose war chests are depleted after Tsunami will look forward to being able to run television ads at a less than premium rate while building up their funds for the next few weeks of primaries and the general election.

Second off, Nebraska's population is heavily concentrated in just two cities, Omaha and Lincoln. Candidates still in the race could easily open up shot and get to work in just those two cities without much effort.

Third and finally, Nebraska's proximity to Iowa is a huge advantage to the candidates. Much of the media to get to Nebraska Democrats will be in the Omaha media market, which means those same ads will reach voters in western Iowa, an area which tends to be more Republican than the rest of the Hawkeye State but in which dividends could truly swing Iowa the way of the eventual nominee. A particularly bold candidate could also advertise in the Sioux City, Iowa media market, reaching Democrats in northeast Nebraska.

Posted by: thefitzman1 | November 6, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The logo:
It took me several seconds to see that the donkey's ass was actually an elephant's head. fyi.

Posted by: Ph0ebe | November 6, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The ideal Democratic ticket combines the maximum experience, intelligence, character and charm:

Joe Biden for President
Barak Obama for Vice President

Posted by: lselleck | November 6, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

ABC News has by far the best report on Ron Paul's big haul. Those of you who keep saying he has no chance need to go to one of his rallies. Two thousand excited people cheering for freedom and a return to the rule of law might change your minds. I cannot tell you why the "scientific" polls are so out-of-whack with all the other indicators, but the only polls that count are the caucuses and primaries.

Posted by: jdadson | November 6, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I have not given up on Obama and neither should any of you who realize the importance of his candidacy. In WaPo today
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200712/obama
Best of the Web, this article is titled "Why Obama Matters."
Being a Baby Boomer, I feel the writer of this article has a VERY valid point. BSimon - have you read this yet? What are your thoughts?

Posted by: sheridan1 | November 6, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think most Political junkies are map-lovers. It is nice to have a few birds of a feather.

Chris has discounted the prospects that Biden wins in Iowa (I still believe he is the best candidate in the Democratic field, and the real party faithful on the 3rd of Jan. will take their job seriously).

I don't see any evidence that Obama has erased the serious doubts about his experience (or lack of it) and don't think he has a creditable chance of winning any state other than IL.

Edwards is a fighter and he will be interesting to watch.

I still believe Biden has an outside chance of winning (although I don't know if he has the funds to be competitive in Feb. 5), but Clinton looks like she is going to just about run the table.

Posted by: clawrence35 | November 6, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Romney will win IA and NH. The groundwork as been laid, and he will reap its benefits. This will give Romney momentum to win in SC and carry the western states.
The Democrats to me is the toss-up. In my opinion, I do not see Obama or Edwards gaining momentum if Hillary wins in either IA or NH. The real test between the three will be SC with a high proportion of African American voters than IA or NH. Whoever comes out on top in SC will win the nomination.

Posted by: rogden71 | November 6, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

After a week of being attacked from the right and left, where is Hillary Clinton? Polling first in Iowa by almost 10 points, polling first in New Hampshire by an average of almost 20 points, polling first in South Carolina by an average of 15 points, polling ahead of the best the Republicans Have (Rudy Giuliani) by 6 points. Attacked from all sides and way ahead everywhere! You can't touch her. As soon as she locks up the Democratic nomination on the day Iowa votes, and has the entire party behind her... she will poll even better against the Republicans.

Posted by: jnurse | November 6, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If Rudy loses New Hampshire to Romney or McCain, perhaps he'll try to reinvent himself by growing back the comb-over.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 6, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

People who think that Ron Paul has a chance at the nomination are high. Sure he has raised some money, but look at the polls. Not the crazy internet polls, but scientific polls. He may play a small factor in taking some votes away, but I would urge anyone who seriously thinks Ron Paul has a shot to re think their lives.

That is all.

Posted by: futbolmaniac2002 | November 6, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The scenarios are fun to look at and so is critiquing campaign strategy, but unfortunately that has taken over this presidential election. You really have to search far and wide to find the candidates' proposed policies and that's a shame.

The media certainly deserved part of the blame for this lack and for largely dismissing candidates with less money in the bank.

Posted by: dharazdu | November 6, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

On the Democratic side, everybody here is failing to identify one of the key players in the race.

Al Gore.

Not as candidate, but kingmaker. Gore is, without a doubt, the second most popular person in the Party. If he chooses to endorse a candidate before Iowa, there will be a major shift in the wind. And since he's highly unlikely to endorse Clinton, her lead will truly begin to collapse if Edwards or Obama earn that distinction.

Posted by: cam8 | November 6, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

aaronspooner,

A protracted fight for the nomination hurts the Republicans more than you might think, especially if Guliani ends up with it. The reason is that there is still a target for the Democratic nominee to hit that isn't moving: George W. Bush.

Guliani has hitched himself to a wagon that would kill him if a Dem nominee can just sit there and take shots at a weak, undecided field and an imbattled president all day long.

Posted by: cam8 | November 6, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

My prediction is that Romney and Guiliani fight it out in 30 second commercial land, basically knocking each other off and making a beautiful opening for McCain to run up the middle. If McCain can show better-than-expected in New Hampshire, he will get the "BIG MO" and it will carry him beyond Feb 5.


Good Maps,

Chris my only suggestion for the next report is delegate counts and some indication of how the delegates are awarded, winner take all, or by district or however they do it. Some states split by percentage, right?

Posted by: Miata7 | November 6, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The real question is how long journalists will be able to find something to write about the campaigns. They are already forced to dig far down in the barrel for pretty marginal content. But it is probably safe to predict that they will find a way to soldier on.

Posted by: dnjake | November 6, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Bob Moats at 2:34P - Are you in Austin?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 6, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

After the results of yesterday's fundraising blitz by Ron Paul, you may need to add a scenario # 4 for the GOP side. From the scenarios you presented, I would most like to see Democrat # 2 and GOP # 3- a brokered GOP convention, with delegates trading votes down to the last minute would be a political junkie's dream come true! And any scenario that includes that useless Breck girl, John Edwards holds little appeal for me. Enough with the fake humility, and the boo-hooing about "the poor". If he gets elected, I'm moving to Canada!

Posted by: TheJadedCynic | November 6, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

novamatt et al.,

I disagree that a protracted primary fight would harm Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter). If the fight goes all the way to the convention, fundraising for the general election becomes a huge problem, but it will also leave the other party with a difficult moving target. Especially if the Democrats are wrapped up in early February and the Republicans drag on for a couple more months, the Democratic nominee will face the difficult tasks of getting media attention while the focus is on the Republican race and of responding to attacks on multiple fronts while having no single target at whom to fire back.

The other advantage of an extended primary is that it serves as a more effective vetting process. One problem for the Democrats in the last election was rushing to rally around Kerry following Iowa without really assessing how effective he would be as a candidate. His weaknesses and dirty laundry weren't aired in the primaries, and thus Kerry paid the price in August and September. A bruising primary fight in which the gloves come off actually may help the eventual nominee because whatever attacks might be made will have already been voiced and will be 'old news'. The news cycle is short in the US, and reporters and pundits are not going to jump on a story (like the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry) in August if it has already been beaten to death in March and April.

Bush's fight with McCain in 2000, I'd argue, might have actually helped him scrape through the election in the end. Had all of McCain's attacks on Bush gone unvoiced until the two or three months before the general election, Bush would have faced a much more difficult battle than he did. McCain effectively de-fanged Gore, which proved a benefit for Bush in 2000 that Kerry lacked in 2004. Had Democrats let Kerry, Edwards, and Dean really fight for the nomination instead of retreating under the mantra of "We have to save our ammunition for Bush," I suspect that the eventual Democratic nominee, even if it had been Kerry in the end, would have been able to put up a stiffer fight and perhaps even beaten Bush soundly.

Being scared to fight through a long primary season because the general election looms afterward strikes me as folly. This is like a football team that fails to prepare adequately for a playoff game because the Super Bowl lies ahead.

Certainly neither party wants a complete bloodbath, but a bruising fight through April or May might actually be an advantage in many respects.

Posted by: blert | November 6, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think the Huckabee and Paul campaigns combined will have a greater impact on the GOP race than Thompson individually. For all of Thompson's recognition, the other two can take from Thompson's base of support of conservatives looking for another Reagan. The evangelical base will flock to Huckabee while the Goldwater-Laxalt crowd will look to Paul.

This could set up a five person scenario with three viable candidates for winning the nomination before Minneapolis (Romney, Giuliani, McCain) and two who can accumulate delegates on the ground along the way (Huckabee and Paul). If the race to the nomination goes as far as Minneapolis, then all five are viable. The three mainstream candidates will enter bloody and tainted by months of attacks by the others. Their supporters would be less likely to endorse one of the other two, but on a second ballot may flock to a ground-swell message that is rooted in their fundamental beliefs as a Republican. This plays to the advantage of both Huckabee and Paul and could even open the process up to a Gingrich-type candidacy.

Although the odds are against an open convention, it should be noted that the possibility is greater this year without any standout candidates in fundraising, polling or machine building. With the GOP base moving into camps using an electability standard, one could surmise that cosmetic demands can easily be trumped by fundamental views as the race goes onward.

Posted by: Bob Moats | November 6, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't underestimate Gov. Bill Richardson.

He has strong support on the ground in key states, as well as in many of the Western states. We on the east coast forget the power of the mid-west and the West.He also has strong support from the Native American community.

How many of our recent presidents have been Govs? or Sneators? Who really has the experience to clean up the mess Bush has created? Who has the diplomatic skills? Who has a clear energy poilcy that he has implemented in his own state? Who has the ONLY clear stategy on Iraq? Who favors diplomacy over another war, this time with Iran? Who supports a decent wage for all teachers?

Only one.

Gov Richardson.

Posted by: agilley | November 6, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Would the author mind doing his actual job of the Press in a democracy, viz., reporting on what the candidates actual espouse about the important topics to the citizens?

Either Mr Cillizza is incapable of writing such material that informs the voter on whom to vote or he thinks it is more important to just report on a horse race, and actually the sports pages do that better.

Shame on you, Mr Cillizza. You ought to be doing real reporting and letting your readers know about the candidates and the good, bad, and ugly of their potential solutions to America's problems. Instead what you do actually hurts the democratic process.

You threw out a lot of numbers but you didn't even explain why they exist, what in God's name is wrong with you?

Posted by: kuvasz | November 6, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

badger3 asks
"Thompson--What's he stand for? Does he even have a Resume?"

No, but he has publicity stills.

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

In South Africa we are applauding your hysterical (very)build up the primaries :

http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/traps/2007/11/05/obama-baracks-clinton-while-giuliani-still-cant-break-out/

Posted by: trapido | November 6, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I hate to see Biden discounted. I truly believe he the most electable of all the democratic candidates. With that said though, I don't know how any Republican candidate stands a chance in the general election.(with the exception of Ron Paul.)
Here's my take on them:
Mike Huckabee---way to far to the Right for the general public.
Rudy---just plain unlikable among many other things
McCain---to much of a Hawk-
Romney--he's Morman-(it shouldn't matter, but it will)
Thompson--What's he stand for? Does he even have a Resume?

Posted by: badger3 | November 6, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Pressure the candidates to fight against ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Go to

http://numbersusa.com/index

for free, non-partisan activism. Save you country, save you job.

Posted by: sskyvickers | November 6, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's a trivia question. When is the last time a nominee from either party was not selected on the first ballot at the national party convention?

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | November 6, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I've mentioned this scenario before on this blog. But there may be the ghost of a chance that the "near last in the nation" Montana Democratic primary may have some national importance. That's not because Montana controls any significant block of delegates, but becaue if no one is clearly the nominee by time the first Tuesday in June rolls around, candidates may flock to Montana.

That's because they will be anxious to demonstrate their ability to "win" for the benefit of uncommitted delegates who will hold the power in a close convention vote. It's hard to say what the turnout will be. So far, it appears there will not be a serious primary contenst in either party for state wide offices, meaning the presidential primary would have to draw on its own.

But we might just be star-struck if the national media looks at us seriously and may turn out in big numbers. Montana already ranks among the top states in voter turnout.

The Republicans in Montana have taken the controversial step this year of deciding convention delegates at a party convention in February and not by the primary, as they have every since Montana adopted the presidential primary system in the 1970s.

So it is intersting to see this "no one breaks out front in February" scenario being discussed by the pundits.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | November 6, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Romney will win Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, Nevada and Wyoming in January. Romney will take all of the rest of the country on or after Feb 5th except New York and New Jersey. Clinton will win the democratic nomination. It will be Romney vs. Clinton in the general. Romney will be the next president because of our success in Iraq and Clinton's weakness on immigration and taxes. Romney will refuse to discuss Mormonism so this will not be an issue, and the stink of the Clinton years will come back to haunt.

Posted by: kevenj1 | November 6, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

'She is the single most loathed politician in the country'

Nope, sorry. that would be Cheney. By far.

'The latest CBS News poll found that only 18 percent of the public has a favorable view of Cheney. How bad is a rating of 18 percent? According to a quick review of polling archives, it arguably makes Cheney:

· Less popular than singer Michael Jackson , bedmate of little boys and world-class screwball.

· Less popular than former football star O.J. Simpson was after his arrest and trial for murdering his estranged wife and her companion. Three in 10 -- 29 percent -- of all Americans had a favorable view of Simpson in an October, 1995 Gallup poll.

· Less popular with Americans than Joseph Stalin is with Russians.

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

We as Americans need to stomp all the neo.cons, right-wing-nuts, hate mongers, fascist corporate elite & radical American clerics back into their small filthy corner of the universe. That malodorous region from which they have crawled like roaches to multiply and plague the US government and political landscape this past quarter century.

Let's return the GOP to it's rightful heirs those who care most deeply for the rights of the individual over government and corporate greed. Great republicans like Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt & Dwight D. Eisenhower will forever inspire generations of American leadership to follow the path of true honor through service to these ideals.

Posted by: oneman | November 6, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The big story after the first primary is going to be JOE BIDEN. He'll finish way stronger than predicted in NH and Iowa, then build serious momentum from there. Just like John Kerry in '04. You heard it here first.

Posted by: dmstern | November 6, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse


'Pakistan has been an ally, whereas Iran is a sworn enemy and actually delineates and teaches the destruction of Isarael as a national objective. This distinction may be too difficult for your liberal anti-military mindset, but nevertheless, who would you rather have in office when/if the terrorists obtain fissile material to make bombs?'

Can you answer a question without making a mindless partisan kneejerk insult, or have yuo been listening to Rush too long?

Try to understand, I'll type slow. In terms of real danger, Iran is years away from haivng a nuclear weapon. Mushareff is possibly days or weeks away from assination or overthrow, and NO ONE knows whse hands their very substantial nuclear arsenal will fall into -- but al-queda and the taliban are a real good bet.

Now, where do you think the most urgent danger is? Think hard. Turn off your radio.

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hillary could probably slap Rudy down a little by pointing out that he has some experience at personating and mocking women. I mean, he's not really know for respect is he?

Posted by: pledger_patricia | November 6, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

ebabin - The people with their heads in the sand are the Clinton nut cases who think they can "win" with her. Forget it. She is the single most loathed politician in the country. Even more so than Bush. I recently returned from a vacation in Europe and *they* think we're flat out nuts to even think of nominating her...they trust her less than Bush, less than Cheney, less than Newt! Clinton represents political suicide for the DNC and a rollback of "liberal" social agendas across the board.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 6, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Pakistan has been an ally, whereas Iran is a sworn enemy and actually delineates and teaches the destruction of Isarael as a national objective. This distinction may be too difficult for your liberal anti-military mindset, but nevertheless, who would you rather have in office when/if the terrorists obtain fissile material to make bombs? I would rather it be someone ther terrorists fear and/or respect. That includes Ahmedinejad, a former Quds leader who has way more power in-country than you've acknowledged.

It is only a matter of time, on that we seem to agree.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | November 6, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

'Biden to Pakistan: Restore Democratic Freedoms Or Lose US Funding'

For you particularly, Mark -- a very good interview with Joe Biden about what he would do regarding pakistan, afghanistan, et al. I immediately wrote him a check. I just wish to God he could be elected -- he is the only one making any sense whatsoever about foreign policy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-davis/biden-to-pakistan-restor_b_71210.html

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"The question, of course, is whether current trends will continue, or change? My gut tells me that the trends will change as Iowa voters reevaluate Clinton over the next 8 weeks. The next question: is my gut producing rational analysis or wishful thinking?"

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 12:05 PM

Good question. Her last debate does seem to have had some effect on her standings. A Nov 2 CNN/ORC poll has HRC's nationwide support slipping a whopping 7% since the middle of October. In that time Obama has gained 4% and Biden 2% (for a total of 3%, though). Edwards has actually slipped 1% down, too.

Maybe there has been some effect, but how much that will effect the whole race is still in question. Even if you moved 4% of HRC's supporter from her to Obama (a statistically ridiculous notion but run with it), it puts Iowa in play for a narrow win for Obama but nothing else unless there is a big rush to his camp from HRC's following that win.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | November 6, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

'Nothing can be off the table when it comes to preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons.'

Just for conversational purposes, because this has become such a CW narrative, for no reason I can think of really --since Abenadinnerjacket has very little power inIran and is being squalched even further by the mullahs who actually rule--and national security experts say Iran is years away from it anyway -- why can we not allow Iran to have nuclear power, but we have given $11 billion to Pakistan -- clearly a very stable ally with a benevolent, freedom loving government -- to build up a nuclear arsenal? When bin Ladin takes control of the arsenal, as he likely will, who do you think he will use it on, hmm?

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"The only hope Edwards, Obama, and maybe Biden (he is making some small progress in Iowa and may make a serious move if he can catch fire) have is that they win outright in Iowa otherwise it is game over."

Andy, I buy into the 'anything's possible' mentality for the Republican race, but I can't see a breakaway candidate at this point for the Dems. Biden's too long a shot for '08.

But your post brings up a larger question for me, with the mention of the anti-Hillary Dem candidate. Do you think Edwards and Obama pull sufficiently from the same pond to make that happen? Oh, sure, none of the candidates are wildly far apart, so there's a great deal of natural overlap. But I'm not convinced (particular with Obama supporters) that the default secondary candidate is the anti-Hillary. I'm just struggling to see how the quick drop off you describe would happen. Could you elaborate on why you think this would be the case?

Posted by: Skip_Lively | November 6, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Passing this along for Kentucky readers:

'Today is Election Day in a few states, including Kentucky, where there is a hard-fought (read: nasty) gubernatorial race between scandal-tarred Republican governor, Ernie Fletcher, and Democratic nominee Steve Beshear.

Just yesterday, in an effort to boost his prospects among conservative voters, Fletcher put up a display containing the Ten Commandments in the state Capitol Rotunda, and a robocall from Pat Boone is warning that Beshears will work for "every homosexual cause."

Now comes word of a second anti-Beshear robocall with an anti-gay-themed message. This one purports to be from an actual gay rights organization in Kentucky and touts Beshears' support for "the homosexual lobby." But the group, Fairness.org, denies any being responsible for the call.

We're trying to track down the source of this call. If any of our Kentucky readers have received this latest robocall, shoot us an email. We want to hear from you.'

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I answered on the previous thread about Romney/Rudy.

McCain's joke at the VFW was quite some time ago, and was made as a non-answer to a vet who asked him about bombing Tehran, which he wisely chose to defer answering directly. Nothing can be off the table when it comes to preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons. Your D candidates have that same idea, for the most part, so what is the big problem? Clinton voted in agreement with other Ds that the Iranian Republican Guard should be called what it is, a terrorist organization, and that this type of international pressure is required to isolate them where more yapping aka 'dialogue' is fruitless.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | November 6, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I live in Florida and Romney is a LONG shot to win here regardless of Iowa and New Hampshire. He has a good organization but probably not good enough to win outright.

Posted by: jennifermcbride | November 6, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of maps, that is the huge draw to http://electoral-vote.com, for me. Sadly, I don't think he will be updating his maps until the candidates are known. Perhaps an opening for a competitive offering from the Post?

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

JasonL writes
"HRC and Obama (to a lesser degree) have been trending up in Iowa but Edwards has been trending down. I don't think Edwards has much of a chance anymore... If I had to make a prediction I think Clinton's going to sweep everything up to February 6."

The question, of course, is whether current trends will continue, or change? My gut tells me that the trends will change as Iowa voters reevaluate Clinton over the next 8 weeks. The next question: is my gut producing rational analysis or wishful thinking?

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

'drindl, your characterization of McCain's joke about Iran is typical left-wing rhetoric that is sadly lacking in truth. What, don't you like the Beach Boys? '

What on earth are you talking about? When this administration has drawn up plans to nuke Iran, you think a joke about it is really appropriate or funny? particularly when McCain has taken a very hawklike stance? It's no laughing matter. So tell me, where is the 'acking in truth' aspect of it?

Also, you said yesterday that Cheney's power grab was necessary because before that the presidency was 'imperiled'. I asked you when that was but you refused to answer. So tell me, do you really think Bill Clinton had too little power? Because what else could that mean?

And tell me what was not true about what I said about McCain?

Btw, I like the Beach Boys but I kinda doubt they would have iked having their song used that way.

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This is what will really happen with the Republican primary.

Mitt Romney will get big wins in NH, Iowa, Wyoming, Michigan and South Carolina.

Why ?

NH just endorsed by Sen Judd and he was leading there anyway. Thats pretty bulletproof.

Iowa, Romney paid his dues there, 600 to 700 town hall meetings. 20 percent lead.

Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada Romney will win because of the LDS population. And he saved the Winter games in 2002.

Michigan, Mitt Romney grew up there, has won the straw poll and they need his help to recover from their one state recession...

South Carolina, Team Romney is headed up by Sen. Jim DeMint, very popular Sen there and Romney is piling up endorsements.

When Florida sees this, they will want a winner.

Mitt Romney would great for this country ! He has solved every problem he has been faced with ! He is very Unique and talented.

GO ROMNEY

Posted by: tyson_hafen | November 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Am I crazy or did you not write last Wednesday, the day after the debate, that Senator Clinton held her own and did not either lose or gain? Are YOU flip-flopping?

Also, I saw you on Hardball last night with the 1984-like word spinner and woman hater Chris Matthews. I thought that you were the only one of the three panelists who was somewhat objective about Hillary. What happened? Did Chris get to you? I will never watch Matthews again - after 10 years - and if you continue with your waffling, I will never read you again either.

Felicia

Posted by: feliciaczin | November 6, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

mark - What's this "only 64F" stuff. That sounds like springtime temps to me...it's 28F up here, with a blistering high expected in the mid-30s today. No wonder NoDak was on the skinny list for a long time, as drindl pointed out....all the shivering burns extra calories.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | November 6, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"the first time in three decades that the Republican frontrunner is not polling over 40 percent in surveys conducted this deep into an election campaign"

This statistic is overplayed--30 years just isn't that many presidential elections.

Posted by: garfield1 | November 6, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"For all the talk I do that Hillary isn't a lock she is running a very good campaign and has an ARMY of money and people to move forward, not to mention the best field general ever in Billy boy."

Andy, She WAS running an error-free campaign until the last debate. Tha bad performance compounded by her staff's spinning of it is a problem that won't go away; this thing has legs - the opponents will make sure of that. Lots of money is being spent on very effective anti-Clinton ads using her own quotes...not in a mean-spirited way, but mocking her Clintonesque style. This is going to have a big impact in Iowa, imo. I think Edwards could well win IA, or at least prevent Clinton froma resounding victory there.

And why not Obama in NH? Granite-staters always have a nose for the true change agent, no?

drindl, your characterization of McCain's joke about Iran is typical left-wing rhetoric that is sadly lacking in truth. What, don't you like the Beach Boys?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | November 6, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

As much as I'd like to see another scenario that Clinton/?, the polls aren't showing it yet if they ever do.

HRC and Obama (to a lesser degree) have been trending up in Iowa but Edwards has been trending down. I don't think Edwards has much of a chance anymore.

If I had to make a prediction I think Clinton's going to sweep everything up to February 6. Obama's going to make everything close and will be the logical choice for VP. Some people wo might not have voted for Clinton will hold their noses with Obama on the ticket (my wife and two young professional R friends of mine are among these).

I'm not sure if Thompson's even going to be on the ballot in Feb, but I'd say scenario's 1 or 2 seem likely for the Republicans leading to a rather drawn out fight for them.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | November 6, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Its only 64F in Austin this morning so we are all freezing and I am drinking hot tea at my morning break. I guess our trip to the frozen north will be a bracer for us.

Looking at the "Trail" and noting Dr. Paul's campaign financial strength and its ability to raise many small donations leads me to think that he will exceed the expectations of all but the devoted in IA.

LV and abramfran, I am about to print out detailed google maps of our long car trip, with special attention to the many alternate possibilities for avoiding DC that y'all have given me.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 6, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

First, I think it would be interesting to see what a primary scenario would look like with a "second tier" candidate winning either Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina.

Second, does anybody else think that Jeremy Piven could be Cillizza's stunt double? If there was a movie about the Washington Post, Piven would have to play Cillizza.

Posted by: Pscoots14 | November 6, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

'Historians and British schoolchildren remember Guy Fawkes asthe Roman Catholic, anti-Protestant rebel who on Nov. 5, 1605, tried to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Parliament. Supporters of the Republican primary campaign of the libertarian Representative Ron Paul may remember Fawkes as a wildly successful fund-raising gimmick.

Monday, a group of Paul supporters helped raised more than $4.07 million in one day'

This tells you a whole lot about the state of this country's politics, and who RonPaul's supporters are.

You really need to take a look into this, CC. You can't pretend to be covering US politics without acknowledging that this is a phenomonen-- a whole lot of people in this country don't want good government, they want no government at all.

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It's not impossible that the Dems will know by the morning of Feb 6th who their nominee will be while the Republican decision waits for their convention. If that happened, seems like it would be a huge advantage for Hillary to be out there campaigning as the one Democratic voice while the four or five or six Republican midgets are still engaged in their internecine squabble, all of them seeking to out-wingnut the others.

More and more, I'm thinking '08 will be a bloodbath for the Rs.

Posted by: novamatt | November 6, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Dito, I love maps. My favorite is the one of the world with the southern hemisphere on top, either that or the world at night by national geographic.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 6, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

mark in austin: make that four map fools

Posted by: abramfran | November 6, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

JD, bsimon, and mark: What a surprise that political junkies are also map junkies.

When I was a kid I bought so many atlases that one day when I wanted another one my father said, "No more atlases!" Surely that combination of words has never been uttered at any other time in recorded history.

And the combination of politics and maps makes for great maps, I agree.

Posted by: Spectator2 | November 6, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Didn't you all read the Telegraph this morning? Fred doesn't think he can win. Why are we including him in these scenarios?

Let's say Paul finishes in the top three in Iowa and does well in Wyoming. He can then win in New Hampshire and Michigan, therby finishing off McCain and Romney. Wins there would ensure the endorsement of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, which would help Paul win that state which then leaves Paul and Guliani in a mano a mano showdown for Florida and Super Tuesday and beyond to convention.

The Republican race has always been about these two men from the beginning. Everyone else is just in between.

Posted by: sean4 | November 6, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

'JD - how can you not like a guy who opposes biofuel subsidies in IA?'

'That McCain, who refuses to pander, is a great candidate. It's too bad we didn't see more of him up till now.'

Agree with these heartily. This is the McCain I have always loved, despite the fact that I disagree with him on a whole lotta stuff. The main problem is his eagerness to do something as foolish and radical as bombing Iran--something our own military opposes.

But any politician who's not cowed [or didn't used to be] by the american taliban is worthy of respect.

Did any of you see the interactive map of the US regarding obesity? The states changed color over time as a certain percentage of the population became I think, 30% overweight, gong from blue to red, I think. Watching the process was fascinating--texas and the south went fat first, then the midwest and northeast and finally, I think N. Dakota was the only skinny left, then it went red too. A lot of food for thought...

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- I always love hearing McCain preface his opposition to subsidies by noting he loves ethanol so much "I drink a glass of it every morning."

That McCain, who refuses to pander, is a great candidate. It's too bad we didn't see more of him up till now.

Posted by: _Colin | November 6, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Andy, only JE needs the win in IA among Ds. JB could finish a credible third and call it progress.

IA is not the END of the process.

From the DMR: November 6, 2007

Ames, Ia. - Presidential candidate John McCain told biofuel proponents here Monday night that he opposes government subsidies on ethanol the same way he opposes subsidies on other products, including oil.

The Arizona senator was the only Republican among four candidates who spoke to a few hundred participants at a renewable-energy conference at Iowa State University's Hilton Coliseum.
----------------------------------------
JD - how can you not like a guy who opposes biofuel subsidies in IA?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 6, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Bsimon,
So my thinking is that if Obama or Edwards WINS iowa then they will set themselves up as the anti-hillary candidate and the other will drop-off rather quickly. I think that if Hillary wins Iowa then it is all over. She will carry that win to NH and then sweep the nomination. For all the talk I do that Hillary isn't a lock she is running a very good campaign and has an ARMY of money and people to move forward, not to mention the best field general ever in Billy boy.

The only hope Edwards, Obama, and maybe Biden (he is making some small progress in Iowa and may make a serious move if he can catch fire) have is that they win outright in Iowa otherwise it is game over.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 6, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

JD and bsimon - I too am a map junkie. Used to represent a map co. that got bought out by Goushe. Best times as a lawyer - hanging out with the cartographers as they turned the latest aerial photos and county surveys into maps - totally playing hookie from fee generating work.

So maybe WaPo will produce more of these if they know three poster are map fools?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 6, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3 writes
"I would make two additions to your scenarios. First on the Democrat side. If Edwards wins in Iowa he will then come in second or win NH where he still has some devoted followers. That would set him up as the anti-hillary candidate and Obama's chances would be slim to none."

Those scenarios assume that Edwards finishes 2nd to Clinton, in which case you'd likely be correct. However, if Edwards finishes 2nd to Obama, what does that do to the Clinton candidacy? In Iowa the race is wide open, for those three. As mentioned above, if 'inevitability' is challeneged in Iowa, the whole picture changes. C'mon Iowa!

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

claudia, I hate to be the one to tell you, but your off-topic posts remind me of che, rufus & zouk. Your on-topic posts are far more interesting.

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"Chris: VERY COOL MAPS
Seriously, I'm a map junkie. Good job"

Me too, with one nit pick. Delegate counts would be an improvement.

Posted by: bsimon | November 6, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, faced with an angry D hierarchy in two large states, or betrayal of its "word of honor" to the candidates, the DNC is very likely to forget honor and remember the state heirarchies. Neither Party has any raison d'etre except winning elections. Their platforms and posturing are just that.

In the words of an Eagles song from @1977 -
"Victim of Love" -

"I could be wrong, but I'm not..."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 6, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

If Obama wins Iowa he'll win NH as well. Clinton's NH lead is largely predicated on inevitability arguments. If she's wounded in Iowa, I think that disolves quickly. To be clear, however, she'll still have enough $ and organization to extend her campaign into february.

Posted by: _Colin | November 6, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Rwamail: Government-issued photo identification is NOT needed to cast a vote. Illegal immigrants can vote equally easily whether or not they have drivers' licenses.

I notice the Democratic maps have Florida and Michigan listed for Clinton. Their delegates aren't going to be counted at the convention because they broke DNC rules, so it doesn't help Clinton to win those states.

Posted by: Blarg | November 6, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Our elections are open to significant voter fraud. Boards of Elections across the country have not been checking the citizenship of voters. This is one of the essential requirements of voting in any local, state, or federal elections. Most Boards of Elections will readily admit that citizenship checks are not being done.

This opens up the possibility that voter fraud by non-citizens/illegal aliens could affect the outcomes of many political races across the country, especially with the number of close elections.

The following states currently grant or in the recent past have granted drivers licenses to illegal aliens:

(1) New Mexico
(2) Maine
(3) Hawaii
(4) Michigan
(5) Oregon
(6) Utah, has issued a different type of license to illegal aliens after 2005
(7) Washington
(8) Maryland
(9) North Carolina until August, 2006
(10) Tennessee until May, 2007

Elections in these states are certainly open to fraud by illegal aliens since they possess government issued photo identification needed to cast a ballot at a polling center.

Elections in other states are at risk due to the reciprocity agreements between states to exchange drivers licenses between these states and those that do not "originally" grant these licenses to illegal aliens. These new drivers licenses are granted without citizenship checks.

Voters are signing affidavits affirming their US citizenship under penalty of perjury. However, significant numbers of illegal aliens have procured and presented false documents for employment purposes and to obtain other benefits given only to US citizens. This evidence suggests that the mere penalty of perjury will not deter non-citizens from falsely affirming their US citizenship for voting purposes. They have a large stake in the outcomes of local, state, and federal elections.

I ask what will be done to prevent voter fraud from non-citizens affecting the outcomes of our election processes?

Posted by: rwamail | November 6, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

As we watch the descent of Pakistan into police state hell, it is interesting to note the similarities between Mushareff and Guiliani.

Mushareff has decreed that no one may publicly criticize him. Guiliani, likewise, during his term tried to muzzle the press, the citizens of NYC, and even a jokey ad on bus shelters by Vanity Fair magazine. Very think-skinned and brutish.

And like Mushareff, Rudy decided that he was going to effectively postpone election results, because he had decided that only he could run NYC.

We already know that the man is unfit for high office -- his extreme authoriatarian views, uncontrollable appetites, powerlust and and volatile, unstable temperment would mean death to our democracy. I only pray that America wakes up before it's too late.

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Chris: VERY COOL MAPS


Seriously, I'm a map junkie. Good job

Posted by: JD | November 6, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Government watchdogs have found that thousands of people who shouldn't have been admitted to the United States were mistakenly allowed in last year because of security lapses at legal border crossings.

Customs and Border Patrol agents question a motorist at a checkpoint last month in Campo, California.

The number of inadmissible aliens who managed to enter through official ports of entry in 2006 was not disclosed in Monday's report from the Government Accountability Office.

However, a source who has seen a full version of the report, in which those statistics were included, put the total at 21,000.

The author of the GAO report, Richard Stana, said most of those who were wrongly allowed to enter were economic migrants who did not present a security risk.

"But as we saw in the recent past, it doesn't take too many people getting through the ports of entry to cause some real trouble," he said. "And not everyone who comes in and is a danger needs to be a terrorist. It could be someone connected with a criminal enterprise."

Understaffing and turnover at Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the nation's 326 land, sea and air ports of entry, has contributed to the problem, according to the GAO report. However, investigators also cited weak management controls and complacency and inattentiveness by some officers.'

Hre's the very model of Republican 'governance'--weak, corrupt, mismanaged, understaffed and uninterested in actually doing their jobs.

Posted by: drindl | November 6, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I would make two additions to your scenarios. First on the Democrat side. If Edwards wins in Iowa he will then come in second or win NH where he still has some devoted followers. That would set him up as the anti-hillary candidate and Obama's chances would be slim to none. Especially with Edwards being from South Carolina. Then I think you would see HRC taking the big states and Edwards picking up the more purple states leading to a head-to-head which would be very entertaining.

Second as some people have already mentioned when Huckabee WINS Iowa then what happens. It basically ends Romney's run in its tracks no matter how much money he has. With McCain winning NH (which I think he will do if Romney is knocked off in Iowa) with Guiliani biding his time for tsunami tuesday. Then Huckabee uses his Iowa win to catapult to a victory in South Carolina. Then I think the media will take over and all the coverage will be about Huck's rise from obscurity and McCain's rise from the Dead. Now will McCain's name recognition and independent nature win him Cali and NY with Huckabee taking the South. Then you would have a two way race with the war hero vs the babtist minister.

On Ron Paul, he will have an effect in the race in the fact that he will force the candidates to continue to address Iraq and defend the Bush plan, which the Democrats will use as a bludgen against whomever comes out of the GOP race. There is no way that Paul wins ONE state, he wants to get rid of Medicare, Social Security, and federally mandated airport security, enough said.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 6, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

What happens if Ron Paul wins New Hampshire?

Posted by: Fred | November 6, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

All those predicting a Republican triumph over Clinton (or any Democrat for that matter) need to get your head out of the sand (or wherever it may be). After 6.5 years of "Compassionate Conservatism", these idiots are running on hard core conservative values (greed and oppression, I guess). Playing up to primary voters will only bog them down in the end. Three cheers for McCain (panderer-in-chief), Guiliani (Biden sucks 9/11), and Romney (Massachusettes must breed fip-floppers). The only ones with real principles are Huckabee and Paul who have no chance.

Posted by: ebabin | November 6, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

They still forget to mention Tom Tancerdo. Many people like him. If not for the fixed vote with wet tickets he may have been second in the straw poll in Iowa. They had a misshap and someone put wet tickets in the machine.

You might like him too. At least check him out.

teamtancredo.org

Posted by: kf98 | November 6, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

You Ron Paul groupies need to give it a rest. He as as much a shot at being the nominee as Larry Craig. Although Paul is a much more decent person; he has a zero chance of winning. Therefore, the wacky dollars raiser are for nothing.

Posted by: cel1ery | November 6, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

to get a better feeling for the situation on the ground in new hampshire, i recommend you check out www.campusvoices.org, it has really helped me better understand the situation there

Posted by: snovey | November 6, 2007 4:37 AM | Report abuse

If you're talking about his chances of winning the nomination, Paul is a third-tier candidate at best. There's a good reason he doesn't play in any of the above scenarios.

Posted by: erichsen | November 6, 2007 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is now a top tier candidate. No question.

View this awesome Ron Paul Ad online now!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Z_gKOCb4QBA

Posted by: tubeyou18 | November 6, 2007 3:11 AM | Report abuse

I think everyone's going to be surprised by Mike Huckabee's campaign in the next few months. His grassroots movement is picking up lots of steam beneath the radar.

http://www.mikehuckabee.com/

Posted by: soulsamurai | November 6, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse

I still think it's Hillary's to lose, but the other candidate have a real possibility...http://www.enewsreference.com

Posted by: nquotes | November 6, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Romney leads in first five states . C-SPAN thursday had a GOP focus group that did not know the names of the spouses. The voters are just tuning in. The national polls are name recognition.Ann and Mitt did Christmas shopping early for the 10 soon to be 12 grandrchildren.Ann is using this time wisely.

Posted by: chuckthetruck | November 6, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

The two Democratic scenarios you show have both Michigan and Florida going for Clinton. Because both of those states defied party rules in scheduling their primaries, the DNC has stated that both states will lose their delegates to next August's Democratic Convention. So, the primary results in those states will not count in the vote tally. If the DNC were to renege on its pledge, it would be extremely unfair, since all candidates have not been permitted to campaign equally in those two states.

Posted by: cpaustin408 | November 6, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

NYTimes reports Ron Paul's online haul for 11/5 is $3,680,000.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/06/us/politics/06paul.html?adxnnl=1&ref=us&adxnnlx=1194326089-joYGim08HhJCV8yCYDKLSw


Wondering when the WaPo will report this.

Posted by: TeddySanFran | November 6, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

So much of this also hinges on expectation-setting and on the media's *interpretation* of these wins. What if Romney's Iowa win is smaller than expected? What if Clinton loses NH? What if McCain comes in second for anything early? So there are scenarios on top of scenarios, based on how candidates perform compared to anticipation.

Overall, Romney and Clinton both have a lot to lose by that calculation. Meanwhile Rudy has the great position of being first in national polls, lots of money, but at present the insiders and media somehow don't seem to think he is "supposed" to win any of the early contests.

Posted by: billmcg | November 5, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Chris has made one omission: Kansas is also a February 5 caucus state for Democrats, and it has 32 pledged delegates are up for grabs.

Posted by: LACinDC | November 5, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama will win in Iowa or do a strong second. If he carries NH or comes in strong 2 then I think he would get Sc.
I think Edwards will do well but, I don't think Hillary will be as strong. After the evasiveness and Clintonspeak was laid open in the debate, I think people in Iowa are not thrilled with her. They don't like the kind of Washington insider, double talking type of politician.
The biggest unknown will be the fall out of last week. not so much the debate. Her actions and the campaign's have put people off. Even alot of women. They see it as a ploy. That is what is going to hurt her.

Posted by: vwcat | November 5, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen says that Mr. Huckabee is making a strong run in Iowa. A Huckabee win in Iowa would require yet another scenario.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | November 5, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

This is what will really happen with the Republican primary.

Mitt Romney will get big wins in NH, Iowa, Wyoming, Michigan and South Carolina.

Why ?

NH just endorsed by Sen Judd and he was leading there anyway. Thats pretty bulletproof.

Iowa, Romney paid his dues there, 600 to 700 town hall meetings. 20 percent lead.

Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada Romney will win because of the LDS population. And he saved the Winter games in 2002.

Michigan, Mitt Romney grew up there, has won the straw poll and they need his help to recover from their one state recession...

South Carolina, Team Romney is headed up by Sen. Jim DeMint, very popular Sen there and Romney is piling up endorsements.

When Florida sees this, they will want a winner.

Mitt Romney would great for this country ! He has solved every problem he has been faced with ! He is very Unique and talented.

GO ROMNEY

Posted by: scotay252 | November 5, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

It's still hard to argue against a clean sweep from Hillary and a definitve victory for Rudy.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | November 5, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul's Record Online Haul

Today, Nov. 5, marks not only Paul's best fundraising haul in a single day - more than $2.5 million by 6 p.m. EST - but online observers say it's also the most money raised by a candidate on the Web in a single day.

Who will Ron Paul replace to become a first tier Candidate?
----> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=890

Posted by: PollM | November 5, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

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